Eke and Brian are Costa Rica Dreamin' - April 2008 travel blog

A Woman´s Co-op where they make crafts from recycled paper.

Eke with Jessica ( a spider monkey)

Eke with Benjamin (a kinkajou)

Benjamin and our guide (Elmer)

One of many interesting flora.

A toucan on the volcano hike

Sunset at Arenal

A white nosed peccaro.

An owl butterfly.

Hello Everyone,

We were up by 6.45 this morning - a nice sunny morning!

Breakfast is self serve here at the hotel.

At 8am the four of us were picked up by a van and we went to do a community tour.

We stopped at a fruit and vegetable stand and had some cold coconut water. (pipa fria)

Brian did not drink it when he found out that it can be a laxative! He has trouble with diahrrea today. We also tried the guava seeds which have white flesh which tastes sweet and is full of fiber!

We then went to Amudreci which is a cooperative that 5 women started 7 years ago. They are a paper recycling project. From the recycled paper they make things that they sell in their store. They make picture frames, bookmarks, and notebooks etc.

They bought a small building 2 years ago and are working on setting up a cafeteria to make their business more lucrative.

There were two women volunteers: one from Canada for three weeks and another one from England for three months.

We watched the process of making the paper. They really do need an industrial blender which costs $2000.00 but of course do not have the money.

They also help the community by helping women who live in violent relationships by gving them a part-time job when they are busy.

They are a remarkable group of women!

We bought some neat souvenirs at their shop. They also sell souvenirs made by other local artisans.

On to the next project which was Asis, an animal rescue center. There we had fun with the monkeys who held out their hands to be touched. There was Jessica, Hercules and another female whose name I cannot remember right now.

We saw a kinkajou who was very soft and loved to ¨groom¨ us with his snout. His name was Benjamin. There were herons in the swamp, raccoons. One raccoon walked around free and wanted to play with laces and camera cords. We talked to parrots and watched the cayman come to the sounds of his caregiver to feed him.

This was a very peaceful place. Again, they use volunteers to keep up the place and you can take Spanish lessons there in the open classroom with the sounds of nature around you.

From there it was on to the organic farm up in the hills. The road was bumpy (we are used to it) but the place was amazing!. It was called Luna Nueva Lodge. A beautiful building with tiles and beautiful wood.

We had a tour through the herb and medicinal plants and tree garden. There were so many kinds I cannot begin to mention them by name even if I remembered them! Very interesting though. By then Brian was not feeling the greatest and stayed behind resting in a hammock on the second ¨Floor¨of the diningroom. The view was spectacular.

Our reward was a lunch made totally from organic fresh food. It was delicious! The desert was mango pudding with condensed milk and a piece of chocolate.

Well worth visitng those places!

We went back to the hotel where Brian went to bed.

The rest of us went for a volcano hike. The guide was fantastic. He knew a lot, was very enthusiastic about the animals and plants and had a monocular lens (like half of a binocular) on a tripod with him. We saw toucans through it and other birds. He took a picture of the toucan with my camera through his lens. It looks like I took it from close by.

Then we went on to have another look at the lava coming down. He treated us to a cup of ¨liquid lava¨. This would make us see the lava much better according to him! It helped!

It was fun.

Back to the hotel and a nice shower. Then off to dinner with the group as one of us was celebrating his 60th birthday! Brian did not go because of his need to take care of his bodily functions.

Another enjoyable day in Costa Rica.

Eke and Brian.

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